State pension: Where you live may affect your free bus pass – check now

State pension: Where you live may affect your free bus pass – check now

State Pension payments can offer support to older individuals, many of whom have departed the workforce for retirement. The sum, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is often relied upon as a primary source of income in later life. Based on National Insurance contributions, a person usually needs 10 years of qualifying payments to be eligible, and 35 years to receive the full state pension sum.

It is, though, worthy of note that those contracted out before April 6, 2016 may not receive the full state pension.

While state pension payments are undoubtedly important, it is a free bus pass which can serve as a vital entitlement for older people.

Many people in later life will be reliant upon the bus to get them out and about both in their local area, and perhaps further afield.

Whether it is attending appointments, doing the weekly shop, or running errands, bus travel can be a quick and convenient method of transportation.

READ MORE: Pension: Could you get a tax refund? Britons urged to check

For the most part, though, the free bus pass age is set at 60.

This is the case for those resident in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Individuals are even encouraged to check to see if they could be eligible to receive the free bus pass at an earlier age.

The age of 60 for a free bus pass is also the case in the UK’s capital – London.

Known as a Freedom Pass, older people living in London can get a pass to help them with not only bus travel, but getting out and about in a variety of ways.

The Freedom Pass covers travel on buses, tubes, the DLR and other forms of transport, however, this is only for travel within London and not further afield.

The key difference, then, is for older individuals who live in other parts of England.

Here, the age for a free bus pass is not set at 60, and is instead tied to the state pension age.

The Government website explains: “In England, you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female state pension age.”

This is the case for Britons whether they are a man or a woman.

The rule appears to date back to before state pension age parity, but with changes in recent years, the female and male state pension age are now the same.

Currently set at 66, there are plans from the Government to increase this in the coming years.

While this will impact when a person is able to receive the state pension, it will also affect eligibility for a free bus pass for those living in England.

For those who wish to check when they are set to receive their free bus pass, the Government has developed an online tool.

By entering one’s postcode, individuals can find out how to apply for a free bus pass and when they can do so if living in England.

They can expect to be redirected to their local council’s website to find out all the relevant details for their circumstances. 

Published at Mon, 17 May 2021 06:38:00 +0000